End of Summer 2019 Recap!

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It’s really hard to think about summer being over, but it is. I’ve gone back to work, Emorie is back in school and we are settling back into our routines. I’m not going to share every single thing that we did, but I’m definitely going to share the highlight reel.

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This little cutie turned eight and celebrated her fourth recital and did a fantastic job. She was by far the busiest member of our family this summer: she went to tennis camp, volleyball camp, acrobatics camp, swim lessons, art camp and Vacation Bible School. Thank goodness these camps were all half day camps, or I’d have never seen her!

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Aubrey finally, actually let me take some pretty cute pictures of her! She also attended acrobatics camp and swim lessons.

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I took a break from blogging to spend more time with my family, and I also discovered a new love- weightlifting. I worked with a personal trainer and have lost almost 35 pounds. Here’s a pic of me in April, at the heaviest I’ve ever been.

 And here I am after working with a nutritionist and personal trainer for two months.

We also adopted a sweet little kitten this summer and Emorie named her Daisy. She is a sweet cuddler and loves to play. We are truly enjoying her.

We also took our first vacation as a foursome in two years.

And lastly, my precious big girl went to third grade.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I cannot wait to show you some of the really cool things I’ve been working on lately!

Visit on Thursday for a super cute wreath tutorial!

 

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Our kitchen had this awkward window above the sink, which looked into the dining room. It was random and weird, and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought about putting a cafe rod and curtains there, but I really didn’t want to do that.

I wanted something more unique. I spotted some scrap wood in my garage and I had an idea: why not create some simple, rustic shutters? I measured the opening and cut the wood. Then, I bought some cute hinges and handles.

Here they are all laid out but not actually put together.

I constructed four shutters with crossbars like this:

I then painted them white, as you can see.

I attached the hinges on the insides of the shutters so I could accordion close them into the sides of the opening.

I absolutely love how much character these simple, rustic shutters add to our kitchen.

What rustic DIY have you recently created?

Grocery shopping with Instacart: A Simplified Experience

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I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely hate grocery shopping. I make a list, I go to the store, and somehow I come home an hour later and find out that I managed to forget some of my most important purchases.

Grrrrr.

And how many of you have tried to grocery shop with your toddler or preschooler, only to have them get restless/fuss about wanting things/make the trip take twice as long? Shopping with little children can be super stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Don’t let the sweet face fool you- she has a black belt in temper-tantrum throwing.

There’s this fantastic app called Instacart and it makes shopping with kids super easy. In fact it makes shopping easy in general.

All you have to do is this:

  1. just log onto the Instacart site or download the app.
  2. choose your local participating store,
  3. shop for your groceries,
  4. and submit your order.

That’s seriously it! I promise!

You may choose to have your groceries delivered, or you may pick them up. The store will even bring them out and load them up for you!

You don’t even have to leave the vehicle…or unbuckle your little one from their carseat. It’s amazing.

Now, everyone please pop on over to the Instacart site and check it out! It’s a game changer!

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Creating a calm, orderly space for homework and studying

Creating a calm, orderly space for homework and studying

homework spaces

 

My third grader has just started back to school, and we usually have a little homework to do each evening. While the homework is not difficult, what can be difficult is finding somewhere in our home where there are no distractions.

She has a desk in her room where she sits to complete her homework.

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There are a lot of things I like about this set up, but there are also a lot of things I would like to improve upon.

Her desk is actually pretty neat.

We are currently using a repurposed shoe box (covered with pretty paper and embellished with a book plate) and a crate to corral her desk items.

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I also created this super cute French memo board to hold her pictures and papers for school (more about that later).

So what more does her desk need?

1. Lighting

Emorie’s desk currently has no lighting. I am looking for one of these little gooseneck lamps, preferably one with a USB charging port for her tablet.

desk lamp

Walmart.com

pb kids lamp

Pottery Barn Kids

2. Pencil/pen/art utensil storage

Right now, Emorie’s pens, pencils and other writing odds and ends are housed in this white crate, which is more suited for reading books and magazines.

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This is simply too much in that white crate. Instead, I’d like to do something like this:

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Shelterness

 

I  have both a dowel rod and curtain hardware, and an extra towel bar. I also already have buckets. I could easily use either one of those things to create this for her desk. Plus, it’d be super cute and she’d be able to find things soooo much easier.

3. Comfy seating

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Pottery Barn Kids

Emorie’s chair isn’t uncomfortable, but it could be better. I love these cute, comfy cushions from PB Kids.

Have a wonderful week.

Back to school: tips for a smoother first day of school

How to have A better, more smooth

My sweet girl returns to school on Thursday, and my own first day of school is just around the corner. While the beginning of a school year can be really stressful and difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Like in many other situations, a little planning ahead goes a long way.

Please enjoy the following tips for making your first day of school run more smoothly…and please comment and add your own!

1. Go to sleep early

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Photo by Sam K on Pexels.com

Studies have shown well-rested kids perform better in school. A week or two before school starts, make sure your kiddos are back on schedule- early to bed and early to rise. It’ll make fighting that “morning wake up” battle so much easier.

2. Organize early, as much as possible.

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Don’t wait til the last minute. Buy everything you need and get it organized a few weeks before school starts. You’ll be glad you did, and if you forget anything, you’ll have plenty of time to get it.

3. Involve your kids in your planning process

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Take your kids back to school shopping and help them choose their supplies. Do whatever you can to get them excited about going back to school.

4. Practice your routine

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Get your kids prepared for their new routine by practicing their bed time and get up time a few weeks before school starts. Discuss when homework will be done and when chores will be done. Talk a lot about what a school night will look like so your child will know what’s expected once school starts.

5. Keep calm and…keep calm

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Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

I’m being just a little facetious with that picture of course 🙂 But it’s true. First days of school, or just mornings in general, can be stressful. Your child is probably already a little anxious or worried about their first day. The calmer you are, the calmer they are likely to be. Don’t stress- take a few deep breaths because it’s gonna be ok.

6. Prepare the night before, as much as possible.

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Keep things simple in the morning by laying out clothes, packing lunches, packing back packs, and anything else that is needed the night before. Then, focus on having a fun and restful evening. The more you can prepare ahead of time the more you can relax and enjoy your morning the next day.

7. Don’t be late!

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When you’re late, it stresses you out. Leave the house a little early if you can- no one wants to be late for the first day of school!

8. Do something unexpected

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Kids are crazy about surprises, so anything unexpected that fills their love tank is great. Maybe it’s as simple as a sweet note in their lunch box, or a special notebook or pen in their bag. Maybe it’s a milkshake on the way home from school, or a fun and simple outing after school. Giving your kiddos a sweet, unexpected surprise will make them feel loved and valued.

And lastly, take a breather for yourself after you drop off your kids and refill your own tank. You deserve it!